Strategic Plan

VBC is the yacht/boat club of choice in the Lake Erie region.  We are “the place to be”, offering a family friendly, and casual, high value proposition.  Our members enjoy a relaxed social environment, power & sail boating opportunities beyond compare, and amenities that make them want to continue their membership and invite their friends to join.

VBC’s mission is to provide our members and guests enjoyment, relaxation and value as the club of choice on Lake Erie.


1.     Member Experience

Above all else, VBC exists to provide a superior experience to its members and guests.  We will build deep, long-term member relationships, by better understanding, anticipating, and fulfilling stated and latent member needs.  We will continually surprise our members and guests with knowledgeable, caring, and unhurried service and attention.

Supporting Goals & Objectives for 2016:

Welcoming Culture: Provide opportunities for new and established members to feel welcome in the club.

Core Database: Establish a “one stop” database of member information to streamline member communications, facilitate volunteerism, and better understand member needs and wants.

2.     Operational Excellence

To support the member experience, we will improve and leverage our systems and operations to achieve superior member satisfaction and membership retention.  Each and every trustee, officer, and employee will focus on the flow of value to our members and guests, and fix that flow before it breaks down.

Supporting Goals & Objectives for 2016:

Volunteer Culture:  Actively promote, encourage, and foster a culture where every member volunteers to make the club better – clean ups, maintenance, remodeling, decorating, Burgers by the Boats …

Special Projects Trustee:  Appoint one special projects trustee to focus on engaging new members and volunteer outreach.

Staff Initiative:  Under direction of the General Manager, the staff will identify and implement $20,000 bottom line improvement through efficiency and service revenue improvements.

3.     Continuous Improvement of the Value Proposition

We will incrementally improve our facilities, services, and amenities such that members and guests see and feel a better club every month and every year. Our focus is on incremental and continuous improvement over the “Big Bang or Quantum leap.  We seek to be a better club every week, every month, and every year.

Supporting Goals & Objectives for 2016:

Member Satisfaction Survey:  Conduct a member satisfaction survey to allow us to identify areas of improvement and address issues before they are a significant problem.

Continuous Improvement Schedule: Establish prioritized scheduled of club improvements to be implemented over a rolling three year period.

Innovation Along the Way: Foster, and implement cost effective innovative ideas for improvement in our facilities, services, and amenities.

4.     Financial Stewardship

Our officers, trustees, committees, and employees will shepherd the resources of Vermilion Boat Club to ensure a strong balance sheet, income statement, and reserves to fund the club’s future and continuing operations.

Supporting Goals & Objectives for 2016:

Chart of Accounts: Create and implement a revised chart of accounts that better reflects the operations of VBC and facilitates management and decision making. Build a budget and operate within it.

Timely Reporting: Insure that balance sheet, income statement and cash flow analysis is available for review and analysis in time for each VBC Board meeting, finance committee meeting, and the annual membership meeting.

Bequests and Gifts:  Establish a process by which members can provide gifts and bequests and the club can actively solicit gifts and bequests.


Our Story

VBC is not just a boat club.  We're a swim club, social club, dining club, educational facility, and a whole lot more. Based on our history, we'll be even more in the future as we strive to be a better club every week ... every month ... every year!

Here is s brief look at our history:

The Beginning

The Vermilion Boat Club (VBC) is a boating/yachting club with nearly a century of history. It was started on June 27, 1913, by F.W. Wakefield and Tom Ball, with Tom Ball serving as its first Commodore. Dues were set at $1.00 per year and the club grew to 50 members in its first year. The club also joined the Inter-Lake Yachting Association (I-LYA).

The Early Years

In the early 1900's, sailing regattas were very popular. From 1906 – 1913, the Lakewood Yacht Club, which later merged with the Cleveland Yacht Club, came to Vermilion every year to hold Regattas up until the VBC was formed.

From 1914 – 1920, the club held canoe races and swimming and diving events. The club also continued the annual Regattas in Vermilion. Their first Regatta in 1915 was called the "Open Regatta." The 1916 Regatta was called "South Shore" and that name remained for the following years. During these early years, people from all over would flock to the Vermilion River on weekends to watch the Regattas and have parties in the streets. These parties were very early versions of what transpired in later years into what is now known as the Vermilion Fish Festival.


For nearly 50 years, the VBC did not have a permanent home and met in many locations in Vermilion. The first location was in the Mayor's office on Main Street. Over the years, the club met in several locations on Main Street including the Nolan Saloon and the second floor of the Fischer building. In subsequent years, the club met in the Sail Loft (now known as Chez Francois), above Hart's Drug Store (now the Main Street Grill) and later on the second floor of the former McGarvey's restaurant. In 1961, the VBC moved to its current location and permanent home on the Vermilion River.

The Modern Era

The current VBC building was originally a fish house as commercial fishing was the major industry in Vermilion during the early 1900's. In 1976, additional property was purchased next door from the Fischer family estate which gave the VBC considerable water front exposure on the Vermilion River. This expansion allowed the club to have 32 docks which exist today. Several improvements have been made to the club including an expanded dining room in 1994, a new Sail Camp building in 2005 and a new pool in 2007.

Today, the club has a mix of boat owners and non-boat owners. VBC has an extensive social program which includes theme parties, dances, cookouts, pool parties, power boat rendezvous' and sailing regattas. In 1952, the Sail Camp was started and continues to this day teaching sailing, safety and boating skills to various age groups.

Welcome Aboard

Welcome to The Vermilion Boat Club



Click here for Commodores' Ball Pictures

 VBC is a private club located on the Vermilion River with a beautiful, picturesque view and many amenities. The VBC offers something for everyone: boaters, non-boaters, families and singles alike. We are a member of the Inter-Lake Yachting Association (I-LYA), which entitles members access to the facilities of many yachting clubs throughout Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Pennsylvania, New York, and Ontario. 

VBC Features

  • A beautiful dining room, lounge, and deck overlooking the Vermilion River
  • Private restaurant
  • Wireless Internet access
  • Downstairs lounge bar
  • New swimming pool
  • Large grass picnic area with grills along the river
  • Playground for children and playroom inside the club
  • Power and Sail fleet rendezvous
  • Renowned youth sailing program
  • Adult sailing and racing program
  • Dry sail area with hoist
  • Deep water sail and power dockage with direct lake access
  • Guest dock availability
  • Numerous parties and activities every month of the year
  • Family friendly environment

 VBC Pool